Published: 22 August 2014

Engineering students win prestigious pilot scholarships


Two students at the University of Liverpool have been awarded prestigious scholarships, securing thousands of pounds worth of pilot training.

Simon Sladden, who has just graduated with first class BEng (Hons) in Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies, has been awarded a place on the British Airways Future Pilot Programme, beating off competition from thousands of applicants for one of only 72 places on the pilot training scheme worth £84,000.

The programme involves hundreds of hours of ground school study, flying training, jet orientation on a modern flight simulator and a type rating at the British Airways Flight Training Centre.

Simon starts his training this summer in Southampton, with five months ground school, followed by nine months of single and twin flying training in Hamilton, New Zealand. Students then return to the UK for advanced flying training with BA, before many go on to work for the company.

Graham Bendall, who has also just graduated with first class BEng (Hons) in Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies, has been awarded a scholarship with Bristow Helicopter Group.

After undertaking a series of Aircrew Officer Aptitude Tests, Graham went through an interview process in London before being selected as a scholarship winner.

He is set to start his Private Pilot’s License training this summer before setting off for training with Bristow in Titusville in Florida, Gloucester and Aberdeen in the UK.

Following certification Graham will be posted to one of Bristow’s operations worldwide.

Graham was also awarded the inaugural Airbus Helicopter Trophy for his contributions to the Air League and his success in obtaining the Bristow scholarship. He received the award from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh at St James’ Palace.

Mark White from the Centre for Engineering Dynamics in the School of Engineering, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for both Simon and Graham. These scholarships are extremely sought after and competition is fierce for places. It’s great to see our students winning such prestigious opportunities.”

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